The Art of Surrender
On the road of transformation, I find there is a burning desire to be as free as possible. I know it’s been my underlying aim and intention in all the personal growth and spiritual work I’ve been doing. Lately, a lot has been coming to the surface to be healed for me. I will be totally honest and say that it hasn’t been fun, but I’m clear that it’s such a necessary part of the journey of self discovery, deeper growth and freedom. Some circumstances in my life had been troubling me and I was feeling blocked and stuck in those areas. I asked, as I always do, to be shown and guided to the answers that would unblock me. Well, I definitely got my guidance and my answers but I would have missed the thread connecting all the signs were this earlier in my stage of growth. Because I’ve learned to pay attention, it was much easier for me to see that everything coming up was related to the guidance I had been seeking. The common thread was a calling for me to surrender my intense need to control people, situations, and outcomes. This was the piece that kept showing up and I could see it was the issue asking to be healed so I could gain more inner freedom and get the energy moving in certain areas of my life. Here is a little of my contemplation on the idea of surrender. Surrender is based in love and control is based in fear. Guess which one is harder to do? It seems crazy because you think it would be easy to surrender, or let go, since it comes from love and its less work. Control, on the other hand, is experienced as so stressful and really is so much work. I really believe that the reason that surrender is so difficult for most is that it requires a tremendous amount of trust. One thing us humans tend to wallow in is suspicion that, left to its own devices, life would fall apart for us. So we busy ourselves making sure we plan everything out for ourselves and for others, we try to make sure we’ve manipulated circumstances enough so that they’ll turn out the way we want or we make ourselves responsible for things that aren’t our business. Admit it, how many of you would always rather do something yourself than let someone else do it, because you think you can control the outcome and you’ll do a better job of it yourself? How many of you try to plan out every detail of your day before you walk out the door, even down to the most efficient route to get wherever you’re going? Bet you do it in your relationships as well. This kind of control is notorious for rearing its ugly head with spouses and children. Worst of all, we do this with our dreams and our visions, and then we can’t understand why they haven’t panned out or they slipped through our fingers.
A few months ago, I had a vision to create a group of like minded women with the purpose of supporting each other in advancing our individual purposes. I caught a vision, it wasn’t mine and I’m clear about that. I knew it was right on because it all came to me quickly in a split second, even the name for it and who would be involved. To my surprise, every person I asked to be involved was enthusiastically on board which was further confirmation of the vision. I was so surrendered in the moment it came to me (I was meditating) that I was able to hear and tune in to a part of myself beyond my mind. The problem is that later my mind started getting involved in planning things out and making things happen a particular way. I went from surrender to control and the outcome was not pretty as I pushed my agenda and tried to get them to do things my way. Luckily for me, I have honest people around me and I’m at a level of awareness that I could process what they were reflecting back to me without getting too far into defensiveness and more fear. See, what happened was that I forgot the vision had come through me for a larger purpose than I could see. I had a part to play in bringing it to fruition, but it wasn’t just for me. I got in the way with my own agenda and narrow sight.
When this happened, I began to realize in how many ways this particular issue was interfering and blocking what I’m sure could have been magical and amazing unfoldings in my life. Although my ego was in full defense mode, I caught myself and practiced radical honesty about a shadow part of myself that I really didn’t want to face. Then I processed the judgment and guilt and rejection I was feeling about this controlling part of myself that was coming up in glaring ways. It was during this process of reflection that I connected all of the dots about how this part of myself really needed to be healed if I wanted to move to the next level in my life.
I had to surrender my need to control as well as actually surrender the situations, relationships, and endeavors I was undertaking. I felt a lot of fear begin to come up but at the same time I felt a sense of relief. I mistakenly got into that place of thinking that I had to do it all by myself and I forgot for a minute that everything in my life is divinely guided and orchestrated for the benefit of all involved. It’s not my job to control it all or hold on so tightly. It’s my job to listen to the guidance and the intuitive nudges that tell me where to go, what to do, and what to say. It is much easier to hear that guidance in a surrendered state where we have let go of our own goals and planned outcomes, and are willing to live in a space of not needing to know the next move until we know it. It involves a high level of trust and faith in something greater than our small selves. Since coming to this realization, I’ve begun to put it into practice by simply making the decision to surrender and applying that state of being to those challenging situations. It means I don’t jump in out of fear that things will go wrong, I don’t over plan everything with such rigidity, and I am not as attached to how things should look or pan out. It means being more flexible and fluid and leaving some space for magic and miracles to happen. What has happened in our group is that it allowed others to step up and do some of the work I thought I had to do. Now I feel excited to see how this group unfolds and evolves into what it is really meant to be and do. I know that there is so much more good to come from this deeper layer of healing.
Since I’m pretty sure I’ll be working with this one for a while, I know there will be many more opportunities for me to learn how to further surrender my fears, anxieties, worries, and stress. I look forward to the changes in my life and my body that this practice will bring. Paraphrasing something I read today, letting go is an affirmation of liberty. What a great way to frame the essence of surrender. On this journey of inner transformation, the art of surrender is a must, and an art we will get many chances to perfect. The rewards are more of what I’m sure we all want to experience…more freedom, peace, joy and magic!
If anyone else is challenged by this or a similar issue, I’d love to hear your comments, perspective, or helpful suggestions to work with it.